West Mercia Police is among the first forces in the country to extend their eligibility criteria for new officers to members of the armed forces and emergency services, as well as people who have had significant contact with the public in their working lives
The force is currently recruiting new officers, as well as transferees from other forces. West Mercia Police has recently launched a recruitment campaign which aims to deliver on Police and Crime Commissioner’s investment in an additional 100 posts to take the target for officer numbers to over 2000.
Commissioner John Campion said: “I promised to protect the visible and accessible policing which our communities want. Not only am I protecting the frontline but I am delivering additional officers, to ensure West Mercia Police has the resilience to cope with changing demands.
“It is the people who make up policing, and I welcome the continued drive to recruit high quality candidates including those with varied backgrounds and experiences, who will deliver the quality of service our communities deserve.”
Previously, applications for West Mercia Police officers were only open to people with a level 3 qualification (two A levels grade A-C or equivalent), or those with a previous or current police role, such as Police Community Support Officer or Special Constable.
However, the force will now also consider military service personnel who have served a minimum of five years in the armed forces, or are six – nine months away from their last day of service, with an exemplary disciplinary record. Workers from relevant emergency services or public-facing organisations, such as paramedics and communications staff in the emergency services, are also eligible to apply. People with roles including other public contact will also be considered on a case by case basis.
Other eligibility criteria, such as not having adult or juvenile cautions and convictions, certain tattoos and being physically fit with a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI), will still apply.
Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans said: “We are looking to swell our ranks of police officers, and we welcome quality candidates with military or public-facing customer experience.
“West Mercia Police fully recognises and values the enormous contribution the armed services make, and have made, to the overall safety and security of the UK over many decades. This widening of our eligibility criteria will also increase the employment of military veterans.
“In addition, this initiative will support our progression to the Gold standard with the Defence Recognised Employer Scheme. We currently hold the Silver award as one of the UK organisations which pledge, demonstrate and advocate support to the defence and the armed forces community, and this extension of our eligibility criteria is just one aspect of this.”
Issued: Tuesday 6th November 2018